Human Microglia Eat Synapses, More So in Alzheimer’s

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-30 Research News In mice, microglia eat synapses. Does this happen in the human brain, too? New data from the labs of Tara Spires-Jones and Barry McColl, both at the University of Edinburgh, suggests as much. In postmortem samples, the researchers uncovered ...

Small Molecules Liven Up Lethargic Lysosomes in Parkinson’s Neurons

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-30 Research News Constipation of the vesicular transport system in neurons is a core feature of Parkinson’s disease, and two new studies describe small-molecule approaches to get this cellular digestion pathway moving again. On October 16 in Science ...

Not Just Blood Pressure—Dietary Salt Linked to Tau Phosphorylation

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-10-25 Conference Coverage Too much salty food wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system, raising blood pressure, damaging small blood vessels, and limiting perfusion into the brain. But is this why salt increases the chances of cognitive impairment? Not so fast ...

New Funding for Tauopathies

COMMUNITY NEWS 2019-10-25 Community News Research in tauopathies and frontotemporal lobar degeneration got two funding injections this month. The first is a newly established prize for tauopathy research, called the Rainwater Prize Program. Funders announced that $400,000 will go ...

‘Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated.’ Signed, Aducanumab

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-24 Research News On October 22, Biogen stunned the Alzheimer’s field by announcing that aducanumab —presumed dead last March after failing a futility analysis—appears to have worked in one of its two Phase 3 trials, after all. Based on the results of a new ...

Does Your Personality in High School Foretell Your Dementia Risk?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-24 Research News Changes in personality often become apparent just before dementia arises, but could certain traits in early life associate with dementia risk decades later? Yes, according to a study published October 16 in JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers led ...

Introducing: iPSC Collection from Tauopathy Patients

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-23 Research News A multi-institutional group, including members of the Tau Consortium, unveiled a stem cell tool kit for scientists studying primary tauopathies. In the November 12 issue of Stem Cell Reports, researchers co-led by Celeste Karch of Washington ...

Imaging Model Locates Epicenter of Disease, Predicts Atrophy

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-18 Research News In neurodegenerative diseases, specific brain regions take the brunt of pathology and atrophy. However, differences from one patient to another make it hard to predict the precise path of progression for any one person. Now, scientists led ...

Could Getting Enough REST Extend Your Life?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-18 Research News Why do some people age better than others? In the October 16 Nature, researchers led by Bruce Yankner at Harvard Medical School once again credit the repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST). People who lived to a ripe old ...

Tau Natively Unstructured? Not Always, New Study Says

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-17 Research News Researchers for years thought that tau was a natively unstructured protein. Then how in the world do its supposedly disordered monomers give rise to the orderly stacks of tau molecules seen in tau fibrils? Using chemical cross-linkers to ...

In Tauopathy, ApoE Destroys Neurons Via Microglia

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-17 Research News ApoE4 delivers a blow to neurons in mouse models of tauopathy but, according to a paper published October 10 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, it only does so if mice have their microglia. Researchers led by David Holtzman at ...

Do Immune Cells in the Meninges Help with … Memory?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-11 Research News Scientists in Portugal led by Julie Ribot and Bruno Silva-Santos, Universidade de Lisboa, report that a gaggle of specialized T cells hide out in the meninges of the healthy mouse brain, where they support both synaptic plasticity and short ...

TOM1: A Check on Runaway Inflammation in Alzheimer’s?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-11 Research News Inflammation serves a purpose, but when it goes unchecked it can cause irreparable damage. On September 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists led by Frank LaFerla and Rodrigo Medeiros at the University of ...

It Bleeds! New Mini-Brains Sport Functioning Blood Vessels

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-10-10 Research News While scientists can grow brain-like organoids in a culture dish, these tiny structures still lack many of the features of the real brain. Crucially, they don’t form a vascular system, which is essential for delivering oxygen to neurons deep ...

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